Sewer backups are not a fun experience for anyone! Unfortunately they are all too common in Edmonton. They occur when the drainage system has and overload of a large volume of water. This will most likely result in a home damaging flood of sewage and water. This can also occur when the sewer is plugged with garbage and debris. Sewer backups can be prevented and the damage can be minimized with some easy precautions.
The best way to prevent a sewer backup is to install a back flow valve – a valve that has an automated gate to prevent a reverse flow of water. Also, sump pumps are recommended as well. Both of these items must be checked and maintained regularly to try and prevent backups. There are some situations (like an etrememly heavy rainfall) that may cause a flood regardless of the precautions you take, but it is less likely.
Throwing garbage in your toilets or sinks can cause a backup almost immediately. Garbage, sanitary products, baby wipes and other debris can cause a backup almost immediately. The only place for garbage is in the garbage can.
You should also avoid pouring grease and fats down your sink drains as these clog up the sewer system as well. Running hot water before and after you dispose of the grease, oil or fat does not help. Instead, use a jar or can to pour these substances in; when it’s full you can dispose of it with your trash.
Also, check to see if your lot is properly graded – the area around your home should slope away from the foundation.
Minimizing Water Damage
If a sewer backup does occur, there are several ways to minimize your water damage:
- Store your items on shelves at least 12” off of the floor.
- Make sure your storage boxes are hard plastic, not cardboard.
- If possible, raise appliance legs to keep them off of the floor.
- Call a water damage restoration company as soon as the damage occurs.